Mannheim, April 18, 2018

In early 2018, the European Parliament adopted a resolution that is significant to the entire distributed energy generation industry. The members of the parliament voted in favor of a much stricter regulation concerning energy efficiency and the share of renewable energies in the EU power mix. The EU factions thus approved the so-called Governance of the Energy Union. The parliament’s decision was based on a proposal of the Committee on Industry, Research and Energy (ITRE) of November 2017.

EU Resolution on 35 Percent Energy Efficiency by 2030
Photo: © Karin Weissblick / fotolia

Great Ambitions for the EU Energy Reform: 35 Percent Renewable Energies and 35 Percent Energy Efficiency by 2030

Following the European Commission’s energy efficiency target of 30 percent and a renewable energies share of 27 percent by 2030, the parliament stepped up both energy targets to an ambitious 35 percent. To enable all member states to meet these requirements, a strict though flexible timetable has been set up for the EU countries. Following the vote, Miguel Arias Cañete, EU Commissioner for Climate Action and Energy, welcomed the result with the following tweet: “Great day for #CleanEnergyEU! 🙂 @Europarl_EN shows it means business with Europe’s clean energy transition and our #ParisAgreement commitments.”

Distributed Energy Generation with Highly Efficient Cogeneration of Heat and Power: A Promising Key Solution for the Energy Reform

Hans Korteweg, Managing Director of COGEN Europe (European Association for the Promotion of Cogeneration) is very pleased with the parliament’s decision. He views the parliament’s move as a clear message to the EU member states—a call for more energy efficiency that draws attention to the great potential of distributed energy generation in the form of combined heat and power generation. This potential is remarkable especially when cogeneration is combined with renewable energy resources, e.g. as in the case of cogeneration power plants running on biogas or sewage gas.

In his statement, Korteweg also expressed his hope that the principle of “energy efficiency first” will become a central pillar of the European energy reform: “Boosting energy efficiency at all levels in our energy system is key to reduce our carbon footprint and energy bills. Today, the European Parliament has set ambitious energy efficiency goals and has recognized that high efficiency cogeneration can help Europe to deliver on these goals.”